May 27, 2021

EPA Announces Lead & Copper Rule Community & Tribal Roundtables

Ten communities selected for roundtables for LCR starting June 3

EPA Announces Lead & Copper Rule Community & Tribal Roundtables

The U.S. EPA announced ten communities that have been selected for virtual roundtable discussions on EPA’s Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) Revisions. The roundtables will foster dialogue on the experience of communities that are affected by lead in drinking water as the agency reviews the LCR to ensure that it supports EPA’s priorities.

The LCR revision was originally published at the end of 2020 with an effective date in March. Those dates were delayed following a memo from President Joe Biden's office on the say of his inauguration, which pushed the effective date to June 17, 2021 to allow for further public comment on the rule. 

“Under the Biden-Harris Administration, EPA is committed to ensuring that the revised Lead and Copper Rule protects communities from lead — especially lower income people, communities of color, and other vulnerable populations,” said EPA’s Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox. “These roundtable discussions will highlight the challenge of lead in drinking water facing hundreds of communities, from big cities to small towns.”

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Additional information on the virtual roundtables, including how to watch, is available at: https://www.epa.gov/ground-water-and-drinking-water/lead-and-copper-rule-revisions-virtual-engagements.

EPA’s community roundtables will kick-off June 3, 2021 with Pittsburgh, Pa. The agency will also host roundtables with Newark, New Jersey; Washington, D.C.; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Chicago, Illinois; Benton Harbor and Highland Park, Michigan (combined); Flint and Detroit, Michigan (combined); Malden, Massachusetts; Memphis, Tennessee; and Newburgh, New York. The community roundtables will include local public water utilities, community organizations, environmental groups, and public officials. The roundtables will be live-streamed.

In addition to these geographically focused roundtables, EPA will also host national stakeholder roundtables with drinking water utilities, intergovernmental associations, environmental organizations, environmental justice organizations, public health organizations, and consumer associations.

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Tribal LCR Roundtable Information

In July, EPA intends to host a virtual roundtable specifically for tribes and tribal communities during which participants can discuss topics relating to the LCRR.  EPA encourages participants who represent tribes and tribal communities - including, but not limited to, tribal governments, public water utilities serving Indian country, tribal consortia, and tribally authorized organizations - to consider submitting a nomination letter. EPA requests that interested parties submit their nomination letter to EPA via email to [email protected] by no later than June 16, 2021. Nomination letters should include the following information: 

  • Name and location of the tribe or tribal entity,
  • Primary point of contact and contact information, 
  • Names of one or two speakers to represent your organization during the facilitated discussion, and  
  • A description of how your tribe and/or tribal community has been underserved or experienced disproportionate impacts from lead in drinking water. 

EPA intends to make this roundtable available for viewing to those who are not participating but are interested in listening. For more information on this engagement visit https://www.epa.gov/tribaldrinkingwater.  

Members of the public may also submit comments via the docket at: http://www.regulations.gov, Docket ID: EPA-HQ-OW-2021-0255 until June 30, 2021.

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Background

Lead can cause irreversible and life-long health effects, including decreasing IQ, focus, and academic achievement. EPA is committed to following the best science to address lead in the nation’s drinking water and will take the appropriate time to review the revised LCR and make sure communities that have been impacted the most are protected. In March of this year, EPA announced an extension of the effective date of the Revised Lead and Copper Rule so that the agency could seek further public input on the rule. The agency hosted virtual public listening sessions on April 28, 2021, and May 5, 2021.

Prepare for the Lead & Copper Rule Video

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